Do they have so much faith in their leaders, in this case Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (or Bibi, as he is referred to, often disparagingly) and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and in the decision they will make? After all, those two – nicknamed "the cosy couple" – seem to be gung-ho about attacking Iran, despite what the experts say: that Israel can only damage Iran's nuclear facilities, not cripple them completely, and therefore only delay their progress; that it can only attack with American help; and that the price – a massive offensive on Israel from all directions and/or a debilitating war of attrition, with thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of casualties – will be too great.
Although Iran has claimed that it is not building nuclear weapons, few doubt that that is exactly what it is doing. That ambition, combined with its frequent threats to wipe Israel off the face of the map, is a pretty frightening prospect, if you happen to live here. And, apparently, some of the Shi'i Islamic fanatics who spout this rhetoric really do mean what they say. But, there is disagreement as to whether Iran actually poses an existential threat to Israel, and whether this threat, if realized, would be a holocaust, like that of European Jewry, as Bibi so often argues.
So, what are we lowly citizens, who will be largely unprotected under attack, to think? Neither prospect is particularly appealing – attacking Iran before it attains nuclear capability or waiting until it does have it. Even the hope of some Israelis that the U.S. will eventually strike Iran is not much better. Iran will retaliate against Israel anyway, either using its proxies or acting together with them. And what if the U.S., for its own reasons, decides not to attack? Waiting is therefore a gamble, although there is a small chance that Iran's economy might collapse in a year or so under the squeeze of sanctions. Poor Iranian citizens.
That, then, is the bind Israelis find themselves in, although you'd never know it by their behavior. What the average Iranian in the street thinks is unknown. What the two peoples have in common, however, is the fact that we are all pawns in the hands of politicians, religious ideologues and fanatics, who reject the idea of living in peace with each other. Why all this saber-rattling and brinkmanship? What happened to terms such as civilized dialogue, respect, coexistence, pragmatism and that shocking word "compromise"? Oh, of course, they demonstrate weakness, and only the bullies win in this arena.